Tag Archives: Russel Crowe

Review: The Mummy

Thumbs up or thumbs down? Simple, spoiler free reviews.

Because everything in Hollywood has to be a reboot and have its own cinematic universe, here is the 2017 version of The Mummy. A franchise reboot that nobody was wanting or asking for. It’s the first in the Universal ‘Dark Universe’ which will also feature films like Dracula, Frankenstein, Van Helsing and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

The Mummy stars Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Russel Crowe and Sofia Boutella as the titular character of The Mummy or Princess Ahmanet if you want to be slightly friendlier. I’ve listed four people there, but don’t make the mistake of thinking this is anything more than the regular Tom Cruise show. Which normally I wouldn’t have a problem with, as I like Tom Cruise, but it’s just one of many things that stop this being a ‘Mummy’ film as it focuses its attentions elsewhere.

First of all, like many before it, The Mummy is the first film in a franchise that spends far too long trying to set up multiple movies down the line instead of making sure that the first movie is actually good. Why would people want to return to the universe if the first one is rubbish? For example, you know what made Iron Man one so successful? Despite being the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe it actually just focused on being a good Iron Man movie, with Easter eggs hidden here and there and then a post credits scene with Nick Fury. Simple.

Perhaps more importantly though is the overall tone and general pacing of the movie that’s wrong here. Now I think we can all admit that the previous iteration of The Mummy starring Brendan Fraser was by no means perfect, in fact it was a bit rubbish, but what you can say is that the general tone of the films was entertaining. Simple and fun action fantasy adventure flicks. This time around everything has to be real, modernised and gritty. Dark tones and jump scares galore. That might float some people’s boats but it’s not really what I wanted to be honest.

Then you get to the pacing. In places they fly through scenes, such as when they find the burial chamber at the start but then the film lingers in the middle and really slows down to a crawl. There is a scene in which Tom Cruise fights something, it’s almost completely irrelevant to the main plot and serves nothing more than as a distraction. I guess the writers thought they needed an action scene to spice things up a little.

One of the main problems that this film has though is that Tom Cruise’s character is just a bit of a dick. It’s the classic cocky scoundrel who eventually ends up doing the right thing and saving the day routine. For whatever reason I just couldn’t connect with it. Then you get to his best friend, who is as dumb as Cruise was unlikable, and their comedy bickering and general relationship are at complete odds with the rest of the films darker vibes.

It’s not all bad though, for example; the set pieces, in particular the plane crash that you get a glimpse of in the trailer is fantastic and as usual with Tom Cruise films you do appreciate the fact that he does his own stunts.

The most interesting thing about this film is, somewhat ironically for all of my complaining, Russel Crowe’s character(s), Dr Henry Jekyll and Mr Edward Hyde. He’s in this movie simply to be the connecting arm throughout the new cinematic universe and while sort of necessary for the plot, very much shoehorned in at the same time. However, I actually left the cinema thinking how much more interesting a movie revolving around those characters at the helm of a monster hunting organisation would be. I guess we’ll get glimpses of that throughout all of the films.

This version of The Mummy’s main crime though isn’t that it’s trying too hard to set up an entire new cinematic universe or that its darker tone is rather hit and miss. Instead it’s actually that the film is just pretty boring.

Verdict: Thumbs Down

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Top 3 Films of 2016

It’s 2017! 2016 finally ended, huzzah! I hope you’ve all seen some great films this year whatever you’re into (not that you sick freak!). Normally with these kinds of lists you get your big Top 10s or Top 20s, but let’s be serious no one really pays attention till the Top 3 anyway. Why? Because just like in the Olympics, if you aren’t Gold, Silver or Bronze. You lost baby! So I’m going to cut the waffle and tell you my 3 favourite film released in 2016!

Immediately going to break my rules with two honourable mentions; Rogue One and Hateful Eight. I very much enjoyed both of these and they almost made the cut. On the exact opposite side, a dishonourable mention if you will, to Star Trek: Beyond. I’m not doing a worst list, but I just need to let everyone know once again how very disappointed I was in that awful, lazy, mess of a film.

Bronze Medal: The Nice Guys

What a lot of fun The Nice Guys is. Heck of a film, highly recommend it. It’s funny, charming and a tad violent. The characters of Healy and March are both disastrous in their own ways and balance out perfectly. They’re great characters and Crowe and Gosling are in fine form. I’m a big fan of both in general and this film is a great showcase for why. Personally I think Angourie Rice, who plays March’s daughter steals every scene she is in. It’s so common for me to criticise younger actors but you wont get any of that for her. She’s excellent. Overall The Nice Guys is an excellent film, full of fun characters, good performances and twists.

Silver Medal: Deadpool

We’ve seen Deadpool before, or rather we’ve seen Wade Wilson before. In the generally atrocious Wolerine: Origins film were we got a very brief taste of his smart mouth antics only for him to be completely bastardised in the finale.

Deadpool is rude, ever so crude and violent. It loves breaking the fourth wall. TJ Miller cracks my favourite line suggesting to Wade that he go and talk to a guy to ‘advance the plot’. Brilliant.  The opening credits and first scene set the tone perfectly for this movie. It gleefully mocks itself, actors, character traits, clichés and other franchises.

Deadpool is as unique as it is hilarious. Action-packed from start to finish. It’s everything you’d want from the franchise. In such a crowded market for comic book movies it was always going to take something this different and unique as Deapool to make its voice heard. Thankfully after years stuck out in the wilderness a sequel has already been already confirmed. So we won’t have to wait too long for another taste of Deadpool’s crazy antics.

Gold Medal: The Revenant

the-revenant-image-leonardo-dicaprioLeonardo DiCaprio doesn’t make bad movies. That’s a fact. His track record is unbelievable. Personally I don’t pay all that much attention to award shows. I like the films I like, some win Oscars, others don’t. It doesn’t matter. The Revenant is based on true events, granted there’s a lot of artistic license taken here. But those changes create a compelling story and great cinema. It’s punishing, brutal, grisly, heart breaking and utterly captivating at the same time. It’s a slow burn but you are willing Hugh Glass along every step of the way, willing him on to survive.

The film looks fantastic as well. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu did a great job here. It’s filled with breathtaking cinematography. What’s going to be talked about the most though is the acting. In particular DiCaprio and Hardy although the whole cast do a great job. We get an extremely powerful performance from Leonardo but I think it’s Hardy who steals the show. As good as DiCaprio is as Glass, Tom Hardy is better as the sinister Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is a disgusting, vile man and it’s Hardy’s performance that really makes you believe that. After all the main reason you want to see Glass survive is because Fitzgerald is such a repulsive man. By the end of the journey you are desperate to see him get his revenge.

 

The Nice Guys (Film Review)

Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down? Simple, spoiler free reviews.

In 1977 Los Angeles fate turns the unlikely pair of Holland March (Ryan Gosling) a down-on-his-luck private eye and Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is a hired enforcer, who hurts people for a living, into partners. They are looking for a young woman named Amelia who has mysteriously disappearedTheir investigation takes them to dark places as anyone else who gets involved in the case seems to wind up dead.

Wow, what a lot of fun The Nice Guys is. Heck of a film, highly recommend it. It’s funny, charming and a tad violent. The characters of Healy and March are both disastrous in their own ways and balance out perfectly. They’re great characters and Crowe and Gosling are in fine form. I’m a big fan of both in general and this film is a great showcase for why. Personally I think Angourie Rice, who plays March’s daughter steals every scene she’s is in. It’s so common for me to criticise younger actors but you wont get any of that for her. She’s excellent.

The film might be slightly too long in honesty, but the film has a lot it wants and needs to tie up before the end so I can appreciate that.

Overall The Nice Guys is an excellent film, full of fun characters, good performances and twists.

Verdict: Thumbs Up

Man of Steel [Film Review]

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Clark Kent, one of the last of an extinguished race disguised as an unremarkable human however he has extraordinary powers. As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do.

When Earth is invaded by an army of survivors who threaten to bring the planet to the brink of destruction. He is forced to reveal his identity as the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.

Superman is one of those comic book characters that I’ve never truly gotten into. Certainly never loved like I do with others. I mean, his kind of boring right? Basically unstoppable, so why should I care? Rocks are his weakness? That’s lame. I know, I know. You’ve heard those excuses before but they’re true!

It didn’t help that the only Superman film to come out during my interest in film was Superman Returns. Which kinda sucked big time. It had a good starting idea, Superman returning to earth. The world a different place to how he left it. However, the exacution was poor to say the least. Lets be honest, the film was garbage. So in classic Hollywood fashion, we get this reboot instead! Continue reading

Gladiator [Film Review]

Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down? Simple, spoiler free movie reviews.

gladiator_ver1Maximus, a Roman general, loved by the people was chosen by ageing Emperor, Marcus Aurelius before his death to be his heir over his own son, Commodus. In the resulting power struggle  Maximus and his family condemned to death. Unable to save his family, he is captured and put into the Gladiator games. The only desire that fuels him now is the chance to rise to the top and seek revenge.

Gladiator is an epic historical drama film released in 2000 directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix. Crowe portrays the fictional character, Maximus Decimus Meridius, who is betrayed when Commodus (Pheonix), murders his father and seizes the throne.

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